Coffee Conversations

Coffee Conversations are participative and interactive spaces of dialogue, discussion and reflection about topics that concern or call for the attention of elementary school parents. Normally, the selection of the topic is discussed with the Coordinator of each site in advance based on the community needs assessment elaborated at the beginning of the school year.

Thanks to the partnership with Linkages to Learning Program (LTL) – YMCA Youth and Family Services, we continue nurturing the connection with parents of children in Long Branch. From the 4 elementary schools (New Hampshire Estates, Rolling Terrace, JoAnn Leleck, Montgomery Knolls), an Early Child School Program (CentroNia) and Carroll Ave & Quebec Terrace Community Center, that we worked with during 2015, we were able to have workshops/group discussions during 2016 with the exception of New Hampshire Estates and CentroNia only because of LTL full schedule of activities planned ahead with the school .


During the first period of 2016, we had the opportunity to have 10 workshops/group discussions at the sites mentioned above. We have met around 120 parents and Long Branch community residents. Normally, the selection of the topic is discussed with the Coordinator of each site in advance based on the community needs assessment elaborated at the beginning of the school year. The topics were related to:

Health Care (ACA, Medicaid): Helping community members learn how to obtain and use health information to  make good health choices and are able to access quality health care. For those who don’t qualify to a health insurance, we share

information about community clinics and we describe the extended services we offer by getting a doctor’s appointment in one of the clinics

Housing: Facilitating discussions about the housing condition in our community, targeting the mayor problems and learning the process of addressing a complaint or the right authority to address similar issues. We also discuss the importance of knowing our rights as renters but also the importance of our responsibilities.

Civic Engagement: Discussing the importance of the community participation, analyzing the motivation or the lack of incentives to be part of initiatives of engagement. As a part of active participation, we also talk about one of the most common fear that may be preventing many people from participating which is speaking in front of others, the reason behind this fear and some tactics to manage it.

Workshop Handouts (English and Spanish)

Coffee Conversation Sites

Join a Coffee Conversation

To join a coffee conversation, all you must do it show up and be ready to participate! The map to the right is provided to help with directions and further site-specific information. Keep in mind a few of the following requirements:

  • Morning Coffees are intended mainly to the parents of children that go to that school but, community members or residents are welcome to participate to the meeting.

  • Everyone should always report to the main office of the school in order to have a badge allowing you to enter the building.

  • Parents with babies are welcome as there is a volunteer to help with child care.

  • There may be some food to share at the meeting (at least some coffee) and donations are always welcome.

  • If an outside organization is interested in sharing information with the community, they should always contact first the Community School Coordinator..

The meeting times and days for each site vary, but are generally:

New Hampshire Estates

Community School Coordinator: Ms. Rosa Diaz - 301-431-6017

Case Manager: Ms. Jacqueline Marquez

Room and Time: Cafeteria, Tuesdays 9:00 - 11:00 am


Rolling Terrace

Community School Coordinator: Ms. Cecilia Zavaleta - 301-431-7705

Case Manager: Ms. Katia Miranda

Room and Time: Conference room, Wednesdays 9:30 - 11:30 am


JoAnn Leleck

Community School Coordinator: Ms. Andrea Barrera - 301-431-4046

Case Manager: Ms. Maria Hernandez

Room and Time: Conference room, Tuesdays 9:30 - 11:30 am


Montgomery Knolls

Community School Coordinator: Ms. Gloria Guzman - 301-431-7700

Case Manager: Ms. Stephanie Carrillo

Room and Time: Cafeteria, Wednesdays 9:30 - 11:30 am

Before coming, confirm the meeting time at your desired location by visiting our Coffee Conversations calendar.

Request a New Coffee Conversation Site

We are always looking for more opportunities to serve the community. If you would like to have a Coffee Conversation closer to your home, please contact us below. Keep in mind that CHEER focuses on serving those individuals and families living within our catchment area. If you live outside of the area, that's ok! We'd love to connect you with a nonprofit that serves your community.

Further Questions and Information

If you have any other questions about this program, please contact Vanesa Pinto, Director of Long Branch Programs, at (Vanesa is bilingual in both English and Spanish.)

8545 Piney Branch Road, Suite H
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Phone: 301.589.3633

Fax: 240.670.7417

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